Q: My grandmother recently died and left me about $5,000 in cash. Will this affect my SSI?
A: Yes, it most likely will. We count the money as income in the month you receive it, which means you will not be eligible for a Supplemental Security Income payment the month you receive the $5,000. Because there is a resource limit of $2,000 for an individual (or $3,000 for a couple), the amount you keep after the month you received it will count as a resource and may make you ineligible for a payment. As long as you have more than the resource limit, you will not be eligible for an SSI payment. It is important that you report the amount you receive and then let us know when your resources fall below the limit. Learn more about SSI by reading or listening to our online publication, Supplemental Security Income, available at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs.
Q: Social Security recently denied my application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Can I appeal the decision?
A: Yes. If you disagree with a decision made on your claim, you can appeal it. The steps you can take are explained in our online publication, “Your Right To Question A Decision Made On Your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Claim,” available at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs. If you do not agree with the decision, you can file an appeal online. Simply visit the online services page at www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices. Then select the “Appeal a decision” link and follow the instructions. You also have the right to be represented by an attorney or other qualified person of your choice. If you would like to learn more about obtaining representation, read our online publication, “Your Right To Representation” at the same online publication library.
This column was prepared by the Social Security Administration. For fast answers to specific Social Security questions, call Social Security toll-free at (800) 772-1213. For more information, go online to www.socialsecurity.gov.